World War II is the most devastating international conflict in history, which affected all countries. It reshaped the economic and political patterns of their interaction and forged a new path for their scientific and technological development. Therefore, it is vital to examine the causes, course, and consequences of World War II to reveal its impact on the present-day world and demonstrate its significance for the field of geopolitics.
Hitler’s and Japan’s Objectives
The initial objectives of Adolf Hitler in starting a new conflict were related to his views on the superiority of the German race above others. He wanted to establish a new order in which this condition is overall accepted (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). His ideas resonated with the growing discontent with harsh provisions of the Versailles Treaty signed after World War I (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). This fact allowed him to gain sufficient numbers of supporters for beginning the campaign. Meanwhile, he was not the only initiator of a new conflict since Japan perceived it as a chance to gain more influence in East Asia (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). Hence, the consequent events were primarily triggered by these circumstances.
Major Battles, Campaigns, and Personalities
The conflict started with the invasion of Poland by Hitler led to the official declaration of war by the Soviet Union, France, and Great Britain. It was followed by the lightning war in Belgium and the Netherlands, Sedan, and, subsequently, Paris (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). Some of the major events of World War II are considered to be Operation Barbarossa and the attack on Pearl Harbor. The first campaign was the invasion of the Soviet Union by German troops in 1941 who intended to occupy its territory for the development of their race (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). The attack on Pearl Harbor happened in the same year, and it was initiated by Japan, which led to the official declaration of war between this country and the United States (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). These two battles are examples of events, which happened during World War II.
In turn, some of the major personalities in this international conflict were Adolf Hitler, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin. As mentioned above, Hitler was the one whose ideas led to controversy among the world countries. He was a German chancellor and leader of the far-right Nazi Party who defined the political course of the aggressor (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). Roosevelt was the 32nd US president who led the country at the time alongside other leaders (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). Stalin was the general secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union who managed to successfully resist German troops’ attacks (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). Thus, these people’s views affected the development of the war.
Another aspect of World War II, which influenced its course and the attitudes of the world nations, was the Holocaust. It implied persecution and murder of millions of Jews, who Hitler and his supporters viewed as people undeserving of living (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). In this way, this movement established by the German Nazi regime was against the inferior race as opposed to Aryans. In order to destroy these people, Germans built concentration and extermination camps, in which they died of hard labor or in gas chambers (“World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts,” n.d.). These actions reflected Hitler’s perceptions on the racial issue and added to the horrors of World War II.
The Development of Science and Technology
World War II significantly affected the technological and scientific progress of the world. The following period was marked by the rapidly increasing interest of people in these areas (Friedman, 2017). In this regard, the legacy of this conflict included medical advances and technology, which allowed to win the war (Friedman, 2017). They were further developed by all the nations and are widely used these days. In this way, it can be concluded that World War II allowed for the availability of different solutions to all citizens, which was defined by the boost of their creation and production.
The Impact of World War II on Global Geopolitics
Another field affected by World War II is geopolitics since the series of battles and campaigns changed the relationships between the countries. First, it led to the end of so-called Europe’s imperial project or, in other words, diminished the influence of European countries on a global scale (Friedman, 2017). Second, this event allowed the United States to gain more power in the international arena and become a leader in economic affairs (Friedman, 2017). Third, Asia became another strong player, which was previously viewed as some disconnected countries (Friedman, 2017). Thus, the world shifted from the significance of Europeans to the growing powers of Asia and America.
To summarize, World War II, with its battles and campaigns, which started as a conflict of race and stemmed from previously signed agreements, reformed the world. The attempts of Japan to gain economic influence contributed to this process, and the European superiority in this area was eliminated. In addition, the technological and scientific advances of the time, mostly related to medicine, were further elaborated and made available for all people.
Friedman, G. (2017). The world that World War II built. Geopolitical Futures. Web.
World War II: Summary, combatants, & facts. (n.d.). History. Web.